Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Hello, World!

"The only certainty is uncertainty
" - so said Pliny the Elder when the Romans held sway. And we have indeed come a long way from Pliny's negativity because uncertainty has ceased to exist - especially in matters of public policy and fiscal management.

In this blog, I will try to point out various instances where a simple consideration of uncertainty can suggest a different insght about the problem at hand and/or decisions to be made.

Why do I feel qualified to undertake this venture? Well, I have been wrangling with uncertainty and its impacts on the analysis of energy and environmental problems for over a decade. It seems to me that the approaches we use in science and engineering can readily be extended to other areas - if only we get people's attention. So, here goes!

In the next day or so, I will be posting a prediction of electoral college votes for the 2004 presidential election that takes into acount the uncertainty in current state-by-state polling numbers. As time permits, related topics may find their way into this blog.

Before signing off, let me just note that recognizing uncertainty does not mean one has to plan for the most optimistic or the most pessimistic outcomes. As Bertrand Russel has eloquently pointed out, "When one admits that nothing is certain, one must, I think also add that some things are more nearly certain than others." (Am I an Atheist or an Agnostic?)

On that note, 10-4.


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